Proyas adapting inspiration for Dark City
Alex Proyas is going to be adapting the 1942 Robert A. Heinlein story The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag ( / ) for film, and what's so interesting about that is that, in some ways, it was the inspiration for Dark City, and those are Proyas' own words.
The novella tells the story of a man who realises during one night that he has no idea what he does during the day, he just comes back every morning with a red substance under his fingernails.
Jonathan Hoag is the name of the man who hires a private investigation team to follow him and find out what he gets up to, and what they find is shocking and horrifying.
“It's one of these stories that's come from my childhood, in that I read it when I was quite young...That was a fairly formative story for me. It really did inspire Dark City in some ways. It's one of those pieces that you read when you're young, and I'd not really read it for maybe 20 years. Going back to it, I was actually quite surprised at how much stuff had filtered into my other work from the story...
...There's just something incredibly creepy about it...Look, I think the whole concept in the story is this parallel universe that exists on the other side of a mirror. I think that's really quite fascinating. I know there have been quite a few stories done about that and a lot of films done with that concept, but it's something that I'm really excited to explore, just this universe that exists in the looking glass.”
Well there you go, the reasoning behind him returning to a tale that clearly inspired Dark City, a superb film in its own right.
Now though he'll be adapting the original story and one that is so connected to Dark City it might be hard to see where the disconnection lies. Personally I can see that quite clearly, the opening scenes, after that the tale can go on its own journey and take us somewhere new.
I just hope that Knowing doesn't turn out to be a bad penny for him and result in him struggling to get this film made, because the idea behind it is hugely intriguing.